Utility of four sarcopenia criteria for the prediction of falls-related hospitalization in older Australian women

M. Sim, R. L. Prince, D. Scott, R. M. Daly, G. Duque, C. A. Inderjeeth, K. Zhu, R. J. Woodman, J. M. Hodgson, J. R. Lewis

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Summary: Numerous sarcopenia definitions are not associated with increased falls-related hospitalization risk over 5 years to 9.5 years in older community-dwelling Australian women. Measures of muscle strength and physical function, but not appendicular lean mass (measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) may help discriminate the risk of falls-related hospitalization. Introduction: The aim of this prospective, population-based cohort study of 903 Caucasian-Australian women (mean age 79.9 ± 2.6 years) was to compare the clinical utility of four sarcopenia definitions for the prediction of falls-related hospitalization over 9.5 years. Methods: The four definitions were the United States Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP), and modified FNIH (AUS-POPF) and EWGSOP (AUS-POPE) definitions using Australian population-specific cut points (< 2 SD below the mean of young healthy Australian women). Components of sarcopenia including muscle strength, physical function, and appendicular lean mass (ALM) were quantified using hand grip strength, timed-up-and-go (TUG), and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), respectively. Incident 9.5-year falls-related hospitalization were captured by linked data. Results: Baseline prevalence of sarcopenia according to FNIH (9.4%), EWGSOP (24.1%), AUS-POPF (12.0%), and AUS-POPE (10.7%) differed substantially. Sarcopenia did not increase the relative hazard ratio (HR) for falls-related hospitalization before or after adjustment for age (aHR): FNIH aHR 1.00 95%CI (0.69–1.47), EWGSOP aHR 1.20 95%CI (0.93–1.54), AUS-POPF aHR 0.96 95%CI (0.68–1.35), and AUS-POPE aHR 1.33 95%CI (0.94–1.88). When examining individual components of sarcopenia, only muscle strength and physical function but not ALM (adjusted for height2 or BMI) were associated with falls-related hospitalization. Conclusion: Current definitions of sarcopenia were not associated with falls-related hospitalization risk in this cohort of community-dwelling older Australian women. Finally, measures of muscle strength and physical function, but not ALM (measured by DXA) may help discriminate the risk of falls-related hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-176
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoporosis International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019


  • Falls-related hospitalization
  • Geriatrics
  • Muscle mass
  • Muscle strength
  • Physical function

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